December 2016 Update
As everyone is aware, a tentative agreement has been reached over the terms of the 2016 National Agreement. A copy of that agreement is available here and further information will be received along with the materials for the ratification vote. The remaining question is whether that agreement will be ratified by the Membership. Having thoroughly considered the matter, it seems to me that the benefits of ratification far outweigh the risks of rolling the dice in arbitration. I fully support ratifying the tentative agreement.
There are many ways Members look at a tentative agreement. It depends largely on whether you’re a career employee or a future career employee, how long you’ve worked for the USPS, and how long you plan to continue working for the USPS. A top scale (step P) Mail Handler may be mainly concerned with the percentage of a general wage increase, while an MHA may be mainly concerned with conversion to regular. Others may be concerned with the cost of health insurance or some change in work rules.
Take the time to review the tentative agreement and come to your own conclusions. Feel free to call with any questions you may have. All things considered, I believe the tentative agreement is a good package. Is it perfect? No. But I do not believe we would do better in arbitration. There are some who would still liken the arbitrator to a fat, jolly, old man in a red suit. That has never been the case and that will never be the case.
Moreover, saying that I support ratification doesn’t mean that I’m satisfied with the result. There are many things I’d still like to see changed in the contract; although, I can’t hesitate to recognize that it may take several rounds of negotiations to produce those changes. So, saying that I support ratification means that I see the tentative agreement as a step in the right direction and something that we can build upon in the future.
Please take the time to review the materials and participate in the process.